Another Bank Holiday? Already?! 

Let’s start with some good audio documentary recommendations to accompany you for this extra long weekend. 

Behind the Sun is an excellent and informative new podcast series presented by Nadia Al-Bukai and brought to you by Message Heard. Having left Syria with her family six years ago, this series Nadia retells the modern history of the country and tells us stories about Syria’s notorious detention centres.

The term ‘Behind the Sun’ is a term to describe someone who has disappeared without a trace by regime henchmen. “To disappear behind the sun means to live in the darkness and be banished from life without actually dying,” Al-Bukai says. “And those outside are left confused about the fates of their loved ones.”

Another new podcast out this week is Quite Unsuitable For Females. It is a new community-produced podcast by the National Football Museum, delving into the archive to tell you the history of women in football. It also looks at the sport’s growing international recognition and the early pioneers, starting with the story of the iconic footballer Lily Parr. In case you are wondering, ‘Quite Unsuitable for Women’ are the words from an FA report in 1921 that banned women from playing on league grounds, a ban that ended up lasting for 50 years.

There’s also the return of the much loved podcast Meet Me at the Museum this week, a podcast where you accompany a much loved name (and one of their friends) around an exhibition somewhere around the UK. The idea is to enlighten you of the culture and arts that are on your doorstep. Episodes of the new series include Siobhán McSweeney touring the Wellcome Collection in London and Brian Cox (the non-science one) at the Scottish National Gallery. Both are delightful.

NOTABLE NAMES ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK

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  • It is the final episode of the first series of Dua Lipa: At Your Service, the interview series features the singer answering fan questions. Like the rest of the series, the answers and topics covered are illuminating and revealing. Hope there will be a second series.
  • The Travel Diaries, a podcast where the journalist and presenter Holly Rubenstein speaks to well-known names about their travel experiences and how it has shaped them, is returning for a new series this month. In the meantime there’s a few special mini-episodes, featuring Rose Matafeo on New Zealand and Singapore with Tom Kerridge.
  • Gary Lineker is on The Moment, a podcast hosted by Kelly Cates featuring interviews with sports stars about how they overcame a moment of adversity. Lineker talks openly about his son George being diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. 
  • The writer Emma Kennedy is on The Failing Writers Podcast this week, talking about how to break through 
  • Nicolas d’Audiffret, Co-Founder of Ankorstore is on the business podcast 40 Minute Mentor this week. He talks about his business being ‘anti-Amazon’ and wanting to push people back onto the High Street.
  • On Secret Leaders, a show that looks at what it is like to be a top entrepreneur, features an interview with TV star Trinny Woodall.

Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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The Women Who…This is a great little narrative series that tells the stories of remarkable women. Narrated by Zawe Ashton, it’s just a great way to find out about people you may not have heard of, from Margaret Busby (Britain’s first Black female publisher who helped launch the careers of many writers) to Daphne Oram (who discovered electronic music whilst working at the BBC in the 1950s). Episodes are only 15 minutes each.

Doctor Who: RedactedDoctor Who appears to have had a bit of an unlucky streak of late, with the latest episode of the Chris Chibnall era receiving underwhelming ratings and much of the media focus right now being on Russell T Davies’ return to the franchise in a couple of years time, rather than the concluding episodes of Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor. Yet, amongst all of this media nonsense, there is this captivating, brilliantly well written and highly enjoyable audio drama series written by Juno Dawson out that I highly recommend giving a listen to.

Starring Lois Chimimba, Holly Quin-Ankrah, Jacob Hawley, Anjli Mohindra, Siena Kelly and Charlie Craggs (in her debut role), Doctor Who: Redacted begin with a group of friends recording a conspiracy theory podcast trying to get to the bottom of sightings of a mysterious blue box. When Cleo (Craggs) starts seeing things she believes to be alien, her co-presenters surprisingly don’t believe her. And then people around her start to forget things.

Queer Spaces: Behind The SceneThis podcast, presented by the author and journalist Alim Kheraj and the photographer Tim Boddy, looks at the contemporary LGBTQ+ spaces and the changing landscape of Britain’s queer scene. Don’t assume that queer spaces are just late night venues such as nightclubs. It  also includes bookstores, community centres, cafes, parks, cultural spaces and as one episode of this new series explores, retirement homes. Alim speaks to Anna Kear, the CEO of Tonic Housing, behind the UK’s first affirming retirement home for the LGBTQ+ elders based in Vauxhall.

“How do you live a good later life as an LGBT person and that you can rely on the care and support and the environment being both safe and affirming of who you are,” says Kear. “It was really about creating that provision because there was none in the UK.”

The Backstory with Andrew NeilEver since the journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil unexpectedly stood down from his primetime presenting gig at GB News there have been questions about where he would end up. The answer is not one but two places. He’ll be the host of a new Sunday night politics show on Channel 4 starting later this year and he’s also the host of a new politics podcast, provided by the ‘slow news’ company Tortoise. In each episode he’ll be having an in-depth conversation with someone either in the news that week (or connected with the story involved). The first episode features former CIA director General David Petraeus, who talks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and America’s influence in the world following the Trump presidency.

Before we go, we thought to mention that Multitrack, a scheme giving opportunities from under-represented backgrounds to make audio more inclusive and accessible, are looking for applicants for their 2022 Fellowship. The Fellowship involves working on the production side of audio and will involve pay matching London Living Wage. Just to warn you though that you only have until Monday (aka. 2nd May 2022) to apply. Head to the website: at www.multitrack.uk.

That’s all from the newsletter this week. Thanks so much for reading and have a great Bank Holiday Weekend.

Categories: Weekly Picks

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